Application of the micronucleus test to exfoliated epithelial cells from the oral cavity of beedi smokers, a high-risk group for oral cancer

S. Suhas, K. S. Ganapathy, Gayatridevi, C. Ramesh

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33 Citations (Scopus)


The primary sites for occurrence of oral cancer include the buccal mucosa, tongue, alveolus, palate, lip and the floor of the mouth. In this study, an attempt was made to estimate the cytogenetic damage in different regions of the oral mucosa in people habituated to smoking beedi,which is one of the major forms of tobacco consumption in India and believed to be a major risk factor for oral cancer. By using the micronucleus assay on exfoliated cells from the buccal mucosa, palate and tongue of beedi smokers, we examined an early cellular response to the effect of beedi smoking. A total number of 50 randomly selected male subjects were included in the study. Case and control groups (smokers and non-smokers, respectively) comprised 25 subjects each. The difference in mean micronucleated cell count between cases and controls was significant (P<0.01) for buccal mucosa and palate, but not for tongue. The correlation between age and micronucleus cell count was weak for both cases (r=0.27) and controls (r=0.36).

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)15-21
Number of pages7
JournalMutation Research - Genetic Toxicology and Environmental Mutagenesis
Issue number1-2
Publication statusPublished - 11-07-2004
Externally publishedYes


All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Genetics
  • Health, Toxicology and Mutagenesis

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